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Remembering alumna Stella J. Dean, volunteer extraordinaire

January 11, 2018 — 

Community activist Stella Jo Dean (nee Kozak) [BA/43] died on Jan. 6 in Vancouver, the city she loved and promoted for decades. Born in Winnipeg, Dean studied English, French, Philosophy, and Math at St. Mary’s College, which was the women’s division of St. Paul’s College. Her yearbook entry notes she “intends to serve humanity as a Social Service worker.”

Stella Jo Dean in her yearbook photo.

Stella Jo Dean in her yearbook photo.

Dean served humanity in many ways: she was councillor of North Vancouver for 27 years, during which time she opened the first art gallery on the North Shore, founded the North Shore Folkfest, and chaired the North Vancouver City and District Expo 86 Committee.

As well, she led a campaign to save, restore, and relocate the last B.C. Mills house—the first pre-fabricated house on the North Shore—and helped preserve a local botanic garden. In presenting her with the Order of Canada in 2003, Governor General Adrienne Clarkson described Dean as a “model of community and public service.” Dean also received the Clean World Award and various municipal honours. She was 95.


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